A successful freelancing job is one of the most sought after work profiles. Freelance work provides various benefits over the traditional form of office-based work.
- -have a freedom to choose your clients and the types of projects.
- -can turn down heavy maintenance clients and ease your work load.
- -have complete autonomy and free to operate on your own terms, hours and prices.
- -get to choose your workplace and improve your work-life balance. Spend more time with your loved ones and cut down the costs and time of travelling etc.
- -learn to run a business. It helps in knowing legal proceedings and financial liabilities associated with a company.
Freelancing is gradually taking over physical office spaces, and this claim is backed by substantial data. According to SOHO Workers Report 2016, only one in five (18%) accepted that they prefer to work in an office space, suggesting that home working was the favorable option.
Here are some ways to multiply your productivity while working as a freelancer:
#1. Complete the Most Difficult Task First and Continue with the Less Tougher Ones
Behavioral scientists have discovered that people psychologically prefer experiences to improve over time. That means it is better for annoying parts to occur early in the experience and ease off as the process goes on. The idea is to focus on the most difficult or the dreaded task as early as possible in a work schedule. The sense of achievement after completing a mammoth task makes it easier to approach rest of the list.
For example, an all-inclusive vacation feels better because all the payments are lumped in the beginning and the rest of the trip is divided into positive experiences. It is like stacking pain, all at once and boosting happiness thereafter.
#2. Follow a 50 Minute Focus Strategy
It is a highly effective strategy developed by the supremely clever marketer by the name of Dean Jackson, for boosting productivity. In this method, you have to set a timer for 50 minutes and work on your project with complete focus. It is important to invest that time wholeheartedly, on the task at hand, without getting distracted by calls, emails, social media etc.
As soon as the timer ends, pull yourself from the task and take a fixed break, of say 10 minutes. You can even opt for a longer time period. The best method is to break down your day into slots of 60-70 minutes and schedule your work in these work windows.
#3. Schedule Your Work Using 3 C’s
Creating a routine and break down your work after distributing them into what is known as three Cs. Categorize your work based on what it requires, as below:
Creativity– The work which requires most mental potential. These works include thinking, decision making, writing, planning etc, which must be scheduled early in the day, for most people
Collaboration– Work which requires collaborative efforts such as meetings, phone calls etc need to be discussed, planned and reminded.
Connectivity– Between creative and collaborative tasks, block out time to recharge with your friends and family members.
#4. Avoid Distractions and Focus on “HVAS”
Removing distractions may sound like a pipe dream and utopian. But a freelancing or work from home business comprises of a lot more distractions than the office premises. Turn off push notifications and keep your cell phone away from your sight.
Usually, people perform better at activities that are one of their hobbies or interests, on the other hand, activities that seem like a struggle stops progress. High-Value Activities or HVAs are your forte and should be clearly demarcated from non-HVAs for efficient work scheduling.
#5. Learn From Other Freelancers and Outsource Less Important Tasks
Join discussion forums and become a part of the budding community. Learn from their experiences and attain a wealth of hands-on knowledge about common barriers, best softwares and hidden tricks. There are various success stories which might’ve motivated you in the first place, but it is more important to know the ingredients of their success.
We cannot be great at all the things at once. While running a firm (freelancing) there are various considerations from finance management, legal works, taxes, insurance etc. Outsource tasks which are difficult or just less important from a cost-value consideration.
#6. Opt for Single Tasking and Automate Common Tasks
Juggling between various works hampers a person’s workability drastically. It distributes the focus and efficiency of work and takes twice the time to complete the same work with half the quality. This multitasking includes all the irrelevant activities such as browsing, chatting etc.
Common tasks in your digital day can be easily automated with online tools.
Use IFTTT tool to create conditional triggers to automatically respond to messages and notifications. It is an extremely powerful tool with a plethora of applications.
Rescue Time – It is a simple tool which runs in the background and reports you about your daily spent time, online as well as offline. It generates your daily productivity scores and tracks goals to show your progress. It also blocks distracting websites like Youtube and Social Media depending on the daily usage limit set by the user.
Cloudvote – Upload your powerpoint presentation and store them centrally on the cloud. With this tool you do not need to create long user feedback forms. Push individual slides to multiple devices, make your content interactive, ask questions and collect responses in real time.
#7. Follow the Pareto Principle and Practice Resonance
Pareto principle or the 80-20 rule states that 80% value of a task can be generated with 20% efforts. Focus your energy and efficiency on that critical 20% to deliver most of the work and for the remaining 20% work, do not over work yourself.
Psychological tricks are very useful in enhancing the quality of work. Imagine that your work is already completed. Put yourself in that state of mind and yearn for that contentment. Make it real in your mind, and quite sooner, the imagination will manifest itself.
Freelancing is the best way to follow your passion and earn a living out of it. But Quite often, they struggle to generate substantial work. However, those who do, are not actually superhumans, they have simply mastered a few habits. Adopt the above-mentioned tips and grow your freelancing business with finesse.
Image: Author’s Own